I have to provide a bio for a guest post and I’m stuck. What types of accomplishments or positions are worth mentioning in a limited amount of space (and what should I drop)?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. How You Give Back
Experience teaching and mentoring communicate that you care about a broader ecosystem — whether that be the startup world or a local community — and you’re sufficiently along in your career that others are interested in learning from you. If you don’t do either of these, now may be a good time to start!
– John Rood, Next Step Test Preparation
2. The Core Point of Your Brand
If you could summarize all of your accomplishments, goals and abilities into one line, what would that look like? This should be the first sentence of your bio. From there, you can expand it to include your current position and list the areas in which you are an expert. I always find it good to include a personal touch with a short bio as well.
– Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers
3. A Link to Your Company’s Website
The key is to keep it short so people will actually read it. Include what you feel is your greatest professional accomplishment and your most recent position. Also, don’t forget to link to your company’s website!
– Evrim Oralkan, Travertine Mart
4. What Defines You
What are you most proud of that demonstrates who you are at your heart? A short bio is not a resume. What you’ve accomplished is irrelevant. What makes you matter — now that invites people into the essence of who you are. Share that.
– Corey Blake, Round Table Companies
5. What Makes You Stand Out
Because your bio will always be compared against others, you should focus on what makes you stand out from the crowd. Mention the things that confirm your expertise in the domain you brand yourself with, and mention things that will enable a reader to engage with you in a useful way (i.e., your most recent position and what you are looking to connect for).
– Christopher Pruijsen, Sterio.me
6. Who You Are and What You’ve Done
You have to provide credibility. Otherwise, people might not take what you say at face value. It’s always good to put a short description of what you do, who you’ve worked with and any awards or accolades you’ve received.
– Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee
7. What Will Be Interesting to the Audience
If you’re guest posting on another site, look at the site and see who its primary audience is. Then, figure out what will likely be most interesting and engaging to them. For example, if I’m guest posting on an app review site, I’ll always mention that I was turned into a character in an iPhone app. Get to know the audience, and then write specifically to them. Relevance is key!
– Erin Blaskie, Next Dev Media
8. A Brief Overview of Relevant Achievements
Make a brief mention of your educational achievements and any professional accomplishments relevant to the website you’re posting to. Keep it to two or three sentences at the most. Leave out anything personal unless it’s requested.
– Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
9. A Call to Action
Forget the typical bio; instead, use the space for a call to action for your product or service. Service businesses can offer a piece of useful content related to the problem they solve, such as a free report or video series. Product businesses can direct readers to get a free sample or can offer a deal on their first order.
– Laura Roeder, LKR Social Media
10. Impressive Accomplishments and a Humorous Touch
I always appreciate a little humor when a speaker is being introduced. Start off with your title and company, cite one or two impressive accomplishments and finish with a personal, humorous touch. For example: Joe is a freelance creative director and product designer in San Francisco. He’s led projects for clients like Nike, Nixon and Adobe. He has an addiction to mobile devices and fine IPAs.
– Jared Brown, Hubstaff